A Scan of Critical World Developments
Fading Factories: Curse or Blessing?
peaking worldwide—before developing countries have had the time to fully benefit. Rich countries reached their peak manufacturing employment in the mid-twentieth century when they were already well off, easing the transition to a service-based economy. Not so for industrializing countries now facing such a peak at far lower levels of development, and the corresponding danger of high unemployment and instability. Of course, high productivity, a curse for the poor in conventional development paradigms, would be a blessing for societies where wealth, work, and economic security are shared. To prosper in the twenty-first century, then, developing countries will need to transcend the conventional development path and pioneer equitable and sustainable paths to modernity.